It wasn’t even an hour after our dear Evie Rae was born when she grabbed for my finger.
I remember being completely shocked when she first did it. In fact, I did a double-take on those brand-new, still covered in vernix fingers wrapped around my left pointer. I’m still not sure if I was taken back because my son had never been interested in cuddling while nursing, or if I was simply surprised at what happened after she grabbed for my finger.
Seconds before, she was letting out the “I’ve-been-thrust-from-my-safe-warm-nest-this-is-terrible” cry and then she wasn’t. She grabbed for that finger, and her body became instantaneously still.
I don’t remember thinking a whole lot more about the finger-hold until Don brought it to my attention a few, short weeks after we had begun to assimilate as a family of four.
I was sitting on the couch one night when Don looked over from the recliner where he was holding fingers with our sweet sunshine and asked me, “Do you remember when you felt like Evie was tickling the inside of your belly with her tiny fingers? Well, I wonder if she was trying to grab for something to hold, just like she does now?”
I’m sure my mouth slightly dropped open (and no, not just to learn that maybe he does actually give ear to my weird thoughts) as I recalled the times when she would awake me in the wee hours of the morning with these tiny, gentle movements that I had sworn were our little girl’s fingers.
As we reminisced about what might have been in the womb, we started realizing that this grabbing for the finger had become a customary practice of our little bundle on the outside of the womb.
Searching for our fingers and securing a tight hold, she consistently calms herself and finds comfort in this tiny and repeated action.
This morning at 4:06 am, little girl awoke in a tizzy. Whatever the reason for this abnormal awakening, I was bleary-eyed and slightly agitated as I carried her to the stained rocker (never ever buy a light-colored upholstered rocker for a nursery…just don’t do it). As I attempted to nurse her back into a sleepy daze, I noticed that she continued to be restless and wiggly.
Let me share my less-than pleasant thought: “Oh for crying out loud. DRINK THE MILK!! It’s 4:06!!”
I’m not sure if the 4:06 am fairy lighted on my thick head or what, but I realized that my hand was not within grasp. Seconds later, baby was nursing, Mommy was happy, and both of us were one step closer to returning to our beds.
I’m not sure if the Lord wanted to ensure that I had an early opportunity to be in the Word or what, but our little ray of sunshine decided to awake with the sun at 7:22 am (blast those white, calcified structures that are pushing their way into her gums and our sleep)!
I fixed my coffee, settled her into the highchair beside me with a bundle of teething toys for those calcified villains, and read the following words from Psalm 63:8:
“My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.”
As I thought about these words, the image of 4:06 am came to mind.
I did a quick word study on the following Hebrew words found within that verse:
Soul: the self, person, appetite, mind, desire, emotion, passion
Cling: to stick, stay close, cleave, keep close
Uphold: to grasp, hold, support, lay hold of, hold fast, take hold of each other
David’s thirsty soul penned this Psalm while in the wilderness. He’s thirsty; he’s hungry; and he’s running from his enemies. Simply stated, David is in crisis. And where does he run?
Does he head for the mountains to find some food?
Does he scour the valley for running water?
Does he seek out a cave to hide from those who seek his life?
Nope. He simply tells God of His needy place and then rehearses what he knows to be true of God. In my imaginative mind, I visualize him crying out in a parched voice with sweat on his brow, “God, every part of my being (my mind, my appetites, my desires, my emotions, my passions) is cleaving and staying close to you, and I know that your mighty, right hand is supporting me in Your tight grasp.”
David isn’t alarmed because He knows whose hands hold him.
The hands that created the universe, the hands that flooded the earth, the hands that opened and closed wombs, the hands that carried His children out of Egypt, the hands that parted the seas, the hands that won wars, the hands that spared life, the hands that tore down thrones, and the very same hands that had anointed him king…those were the mighty hands that were laying hold of his soul.
And those powerful hands? Well, that’s what blows my mind. Those hands that held David are the very same hands that hold me today.
And tonight as I crawl in bed, I’m not sure if I’ll ever look at Evie’s grasping hands the same again, and I think I’m okay with that.